Thoughts: Arnold Van Opstal got benched

By sydrified
Nov. 22, 2016

The new PBA season has started and I’m nowhere to be found.

For starters, there’s my day job. Last week was a beautiful nightmare... because I turned a thunderous pile chicken shit to chicken salad. Then I had to babysit my two-year old and nothing screams concentration than chasing a kid drugged up with sweets.

And then there’s Filmora. I’m doing a friend a favour by editing their trip which involves a summer getaway that should have involved water. Should have? Well they get the awesome beachfront during high tide... and the place looked like a dried mudflat when they got there.

I also have three fantasy leagues that are currently struggling...

Okay enough personal talk because here’s the situation at hand.

As mentioned, the PBA season has started in which the San Miguel Beermen scored first blood against the Star Hotshots. June Mar Fajardo dominated the contest with 25 points and 16 rebounds and Paul Lee struggled in his first game away from the cudgels of Yeng Guiao. Even though Mark Barroca led the Hotshots with 13 points in 30 minutes, rookie Jio Jalalon scored eleven points in 22 minutes. The former Perpetual Help star also logged five rebounds, an assist, and a steal.

In contrast, Arnold Van Opstal got benched.

And this is why the whole special draft process bugged me. I know that if you follow how the teams drafted in the 2016 PBA Draft, San Miguel gets the sixth pick by virtue of their regular draft order. The PBA doesn’t want to mention this but I think they are better of presenting it as such because this is the only logical way to explain why the good teams got the better rookies.

Jalalon is the only rookie to play in the game with Van Opstal and Rashawn McCarthy riding the San Miguel bench and Chris Javier, Samboy de Leon, and Alvin Abundo getting the proverbial playing off switch.

But... I don't really want to delve much on the benching of McCarthy, Javier, and the other guys. I don't mean to disrespect the rookies but this is something they need to endure. It's a coach's discretion on whether or not they should use their rookies. In some ways, I guess they already know this. Not everyone gets the opportunity to play in the PBA. 

But it's a different story when they are going to use the league as training grounds for an even bigger task. 

I am sorry but when Chot Reyes agreed to have the Gilas Pilipinas pool members play in the PBA, this is to give them a competitive avenue. I guess this is one thing the Gilas Pilipinas officials need to insert in the contracts of their pool members – assured playing time. If they want training, they could just give the top four teams no Gilas trainees to bench and let the other bad squads have their way. I know this is still after all... a business... but we are also going to send these boys to the world’s best.

Leo Austria admitted that he benched Van Opstal because the first game is a must-win match. This sucks even more because does this mean AVO has no value stopping the likes of Rodney Brondial and Jake Pascual? I know these two have scored their PBA spurs for the games they logged but AVO has faced up with these guys when they were still in the amateurs.

Seldom used banger Jay-R Reyes got nearly eight minutes!

It’s bad enough that AVO is going to play behind June Mar Fajardo.

But getting that initial treatment?

Hopefully this is a one-time thing and from hereon out, Austria will focus on the positives in his game for future benefits. 

If the special draft were batched up as top picks, well the last top pick to get a DNP in his first game despite in working condition is Rich Alvarez.

And you know what happened to his career... right?

So how do you feel about the big teams getting the better rookies? Sound off on the comment box below. You can also voice out your opinions on the similar treatment RR Garcia got when he joined the already-souped up San Miguel backcourt.

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